Reliance Industries (RIL) announced it has partnered with Google to develop a new Android smartphone operating system for its affordable 5G smartphones in India at the company’s 43rd annual general meeting (AGM) on July 15.
Its CMD Mukesh Ambani, while making the announcement, also broke the news of Google investing Rs 33, 737 crore for a 7.7 percent stake in Jio Platforms. The partnership could be a game-changer not just for Jio and Google but for consumers as well.
Affordable 5G Android smartphonesAmbani revealed that the company has already sold more than 100 million Jio Phones in a short period. However, more than 350 million feature phone users remain in the country and to bring them on board, it will bring in an entry-level 4G or even 5G smartphone at a fraction of its current cost.
The telecom giant is partnering with Google to make Android's feature set accessible to these millions of feature phone users by launching affordable smartphones. The partnership is mainly focused on jointly develop an affordable smartphone with optimisations to the Android operating system.
India is the world’s second-largest market for smartphone users. While more than 550 million people have access to the internet, a large majority remain disconnected from the virtual world. The partnership with Jio will also help Google achieve its vision of providing access to people coupled with its Next Billion Users initiative.
Gateway to services and the Jio ecosystem of appsAmbani aims at making India 2G-mukt with the Jio-Google partnership. By offering affordable 4G and 5G smartphones running on Android, the partnership will not only give millions of people access to the world of internet but also open doors to a host of new services.
For example, Google’s own family of apps, which includes the likes of Gmail, Maps, Duo, etc, will help people connect virtually and make life more convenient. Moreover, the company announced new services at the RIL 43rd AGM like the JioTV+.
Smoother transition to 5GRIL's partnership with Qualcomm will help bring 5G technology to the Indian market, which was previously expected to roll out in a couple of years. However, with the company further committing to bringing in 5G networks, the next-generation network is likely to be available sooner with data speeds a lot faster than the current 4G standards.
The Made-in-India 5G technology can be deployed and launched in a year once spectrum is available, said the RIL chairman on July 15. Moreover, Jio can easily upgrade its 4G network to 5G because it is an all-IP network architecture, further saving on hardware, time and costs.
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Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.